Reemployment Case Management - FAQs

Reemployment Case Management - Frequently Asked Questions

Detailed instructions for Iowa Unemployment Claimants can be found on the Unemployment Insurance & IowaWORKS Reemployment Activities landing page.

What is the Reemployment Case Management program (RCM)? 

This new program represents a heightened focus by Iowa Workforce Development on getting unemployed Iowans back to work as quickly as possible. The intention is to provide enhanced services to unemployment claimants at the beginning of the claims process and help them find jobs more quickly, including by helping match their skills with the skills need by local companies with vacant jobs.

How will RCM be different than the current unemployment system? 

Participating claimants will get more attention earlier in the process and hopefully, find a job more quickly. Along with that extra assistance, IWD will be increasing work search expectations and re-focusing the list of what is considered acceptable “reemployment activity” when attempting to meet the requirements that claimants must fulfill each week to maintain their unemployment benefits.

How exactly will RCM work? 

IWD is hiring 18 new Career Planners to work with jobless Iowans from the first week of their unemployment claims. Career Planners will provide direct assistance to unemployed clients, including making connections to training and educational opportunities in high-demand careers.

This process will be facilitated by new functionality that’s being added to Iowa’s existing IowaWORKS computer system. This will enable staff to compare individuals’ work histories with local labor market information and help claimants and Career Planners set job search activity targets. In short, the software will match an individual’s skills with those most sought after by employers and assist the clients by identifying areas where their job searches are most likely to be successful.

Career Planners also will verify the eligibility of unemployment claims weekly, review job searches, offer reemployment services, including referrals to other workforce training and education programs, and discuss claimants’ job interviews, if applicable.

Why do you think this will change anything? 

RCM is an extension of similar programs funded by the U.S. Department of Labor through Reemployment Services and Eligibility Assessment (RESEA) grants. Such programs have been proven to decrease the amount of time spent on unemployment benefits and to help claimants land better jobs.

The difference between RESEA and RCM is that Reemployment Case Management will work with claimants earlier in the process, and the program will include more people.

When will the RCM program start? 

We expect to have the last few Career Planners hired by the middle of December. The plan is to launch Reemployment Case Management beginning with the week of January 9, 2022.

Who will be included in the program? 

Reemployment Case Management represents a substantial change in Iowa’s approach to unemployment, but RCM participation will not apply uniformly to all Iowa workers because circumstances differ from person to person.  For example, members of labor unions will be excluded from the program, per Iowa law.

Similarly, people who have claimed 13 weeks or more of unemployment benefits (historically, the average length of an unemployment claim in Iowa) will be contacted for participation in RCM.

In general, participation in the RCM program will be based on IWD’s case-by-case examination of a claimant’s work history and relationship to his or her employer. 

What will claimants be required to do in the RCM program? 

Meetings between Career Planners and claimants will involve reviewing the unemployment claim, discussing work search requirements, and reviewing previous reemployment activities. Career Planners also will discuss the importance of resume building, provide sample resumes, and share available reemployment services such as workshops, job fairs, registered apprenticeships, etc. They will connect unemployment claimant to any other applicable service depending on the client’s skills, ability, and situation.

You do not do anything to begin the process other than respond when you are contacted.

Career Planners will begin reaching out during the first week claimants file for unemployment benefits. These phone calls may come without advanced notice, so it is important for claimants to follow up as soon as possible once contact has been made. Failure to engage with Career Planners could result in your unemployment claim being locked or frozen until the proper information is provided.

What if I am selected for RCM even though I think I should be excluded? 

Unemployment claimants who believe they should be excluded from participating in RCM must be sure to share that information with IWD Career Planners when the claimant is first contacted about the program. Misclassifications are unlikely to be corrected without your input.

A claimant’s failure to respond when a Career Planner makes contact about the program could perpetuate any problem and ultimately could lead to the unemployment claim being locked or frozen until necessary information is provided.

Is meeting with Career Planners the only requirement for being in the RCM? 

Unemployment claimants also will face a higher requirement in terms of the amount of weekly reemployment activity that they must perform to maintain unemployment benefits under Reemployment Case Management.

What will the new work search requirement be? 

Jobless Iowans currently are required to engage in two reemployment activities per week to maintain their unemployment benefits. Beginning January 9, 2022, that requirement will increase to four reemployment activities per week. At the same time, IWD’s list of 27 activities that currently qualify as “reemployment activity” will be trimmed to 12, ensuring that claimants are focused on those activities that are most likely to help them find rewarding careers.

What activities will qualify under the new work search requirements for maintaining an unemployment claim? 

With the launch of RCM, Iowa will require that most unemployment claimants complete a minimum of four reemployment activities per week. Claimants will report this activity through the IowaWORKS online system.

Acceptable Reemployment Activities

At least three of the four activities reported each week must be one of these:

  • Apply for a potential job opening by submitting a resume or application through any of the following methods:
    • Online
    • In Person
    • Email
    • Fax/mail
  • Take a Civil Service exam

Any of the following activities also can be reported to meet a claimant’s reemployment activity requirements for a given week. (The total number of activities must be four or more, including at least three from the above list.)

  • Create a reemployment plan (RESEA or other programs).
  • Attend any IowaWORKS workshop.
  • Attend a job fair sponsored by IowaWORKS or partners (Keep the flyer or advertisement).
  • Appointment with a Career Planner at an IowaWORKS office.
  • Appointment with a core WIOA partner (vocation rehabilitation services, adult education & literacy, employment services, training/education).
  • Mock Interview at IowaWORKS.
  • Attend a scheduled career networking meeting with IowaWORKS office.
  • Register with a placement facility of a school or college. 
  • Interview for a job (virtually, in person, or at a job fair).
  • Veterans may submit a resume to Home Base Iowa (